Get complete information on Sub-family Papilionatae (Fabaceae)



Racemose or solitary axillary.



Bracteate, pedicellate, hermaphrodite, complete, zygomorphic, hypogynous.


Sepals 5, connate at the base valvate aestivation.



Petals 5, polypetalous, papilionaceous, descending imbricate aestivation, one posterior long standard, two lateral short wings, two anterior petals jointed to each other forming keel.


10 stamens, diadelphous, 9 fused with each other on anterior side, one free on posterior side. Anther lobes bilocular, dorsifixed, introse.



Monocarpellary, unilocular, marginal placentation, ovary superior.

Fruit: Legume

Economic importance

(A) Plants used as food:


(1) Pulses:

Various kinds of pulses are obtained from the plants of this subfamily, e.g. garden pea = edible peas (Pisum sativum) gram (Cicer arietinum), Lobia (Vigna sinensis), Arhar (Cajanus cajan), Masoor (Lens esculenta), Urd (Phaseolus mungo), Mung (P. aureus). Pulses are rich source of protein.

(2) Sem:

(Dolichos lablab), Lobia (Vigna sinensis), Pea (Pisum sativum) are used as vegetables. Leaves of Trigonella are also used as vegetable.


(3) Groundnut (Archis hypogea). Its embryo is used is preparation of vegetables ghee. Soyabeen (Glycine soja)-from it a special type of milk is extracted which is rich in protein.

(B) Plants used in medicines:

(1) Clitoria ternatea : Leaves and flowers are used in snake bite.

(2) Desmodium gangetium : Roots are used in diarrhoea, cough, asthma, snake and scorpion bite.

(C) Fibre yielding plants:

(1) Crotolaria juncea = Sunn hemp

(D) Ornamental plants:

(1) Sesbanea grandiflora

(2) Butea monosperma

(3) Lathyrus odoratus (sweet pea = wild pea)

(E) Plants used in manufacture of Dyes:

(1) Indigofera tinctoria

(2) Erythrina variegata

(3) Pterocarpus santalinus (red sandal wood)

(F) Timber yielding plants:

(1) Dalbergia sissoo (Shesham)

(G) Spice yielding plants:

(1) Trigonella Foenum graecum (methi)

Systemic position:

Division – Angiospemae

Class – Dicotyledonae

Sub-class – Polypetalae

Series – Calyciflorae

Order – Rosales

Family – Leguminosae

Sub-family – Papilionatae

Sub-family Caesalpinoideae


Raceme, umbel or solitary flower.


Bracteate or ebracteate, pedicellate, hermaphrodite, complete, zygomorphic, hypogynous.


Sepals 5, polysepalous, imbricate aestivation.


Petals 5, polypetalous, ascending imbricate aestivation.


10 stamens, or staminodes are found in cassia, free filaments of unequal size, anther lobes bilocular, introse, versatile.


Monocarpellary, unilocular ovary superior, marginal placentation, stigma capitate.

Fruit: Legume

Economic Importance

(A) Plants used in Medicines:

(1) Cassia occidentalis: In skin diseases.

(2) C. glauca: Bark & leaves are used in diabetes & gonorrhea.

(3) C. fistula: Fleshy mass of fruits is used as purgative.

(4) Tamarindus indica : Its fruits and leaves are used in digestion.

(B) Plants used as food:

(1) Bauhinia variegata (Kachnar) buds are used as vegetables.

(C) Plants used in Dye Manufacture:

(1) Hematoxylon campechianum

(2) Caesalpinea sappam

(D) Plants used in leather tanning:

The bark of some of the species of Bauhinia and Caesalpinia is used in leather tanning.

(E) Ornamental plants:

(1) Delonix regia: Gulmohar.

(2) Caesalpinia pulcherima: Peacock flower.

(3) Saraca indica: Ashok.

(4) Cassia fistula: Amaltas.

Sub-family Mimosoideae


Head or capitulum or spike. Flowers arranged in acropetal succession.


Bracteate or ebracteate, sessile, hermaphrodite, complete, actinomorphic hypogynous, pentamerous.


Sepals 4-5, gamosepalous, connate at the base, valvate aestivation.


Petals 4-5, gamopetalous, or polypetalous, membranous, valvate aestivation.


Stamens many, free in many whorls, filaments long, dithecous, introse.


Monocarpellary, unilocular, ovary superior, style long, cylindrical, stigma single and capitate, marginal placentation.

Fruit: Lomentum.

Economic Importance

(1) Timber yielding plants: Albizia lebbek (Sires) Adenanthera pavonina.

(2) Fibres yielding plants: Acacia leucophloea.

(3) Gum yielding plant: Acacia sps.

(4) Perfume yielding plant-Acacia famesiana : Its flowers are used to extract perfume.

(5) Ornamental plants: Neptunia oleracea, Prosopis spicigera, Mimosa pudica, Pitheclobium dulce.

(6) Dye yielding plant: From the heart wood of Acacia catechu a dye ‘Kathha’ is obtained.

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